New New Mexicanisms, Boot Camp Reconsidered
and Pet Peeves

Plus off-kilter complaints, wives' revenge and what Washington lost crossing the Delaware.

You know you live in New Mexico when. . . We start the New Year off right with one of our favorite, classic categories, courtesy of long-time correspondent JackB. And we apologize if some of these turn out to be reruns–when they ring true like this, it's hard to tell!

"You know you're from New Mexico when:

"You have license plates on your walls, but not on your car.

"Most restaurants you go to begin with 'El' or 'Los.'

"You remember when Santa Fe was not like San Francisco.

"You hated Texans until the Californians moved in.

"The tires on your roof have more tread than the ones on your car.

"You price-shop for tortillas.

"You have an extra freezer just for green chile.

"You think a red light is merely a suggestion.

"You believe using a turn signal is a sign of weakness.

"You don't make eye contact with other drivers because you can't tell how well armed they are just by looking.

"You think six tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful front lawn.

"You have to sign a waiver to buy hot coffee at a drive-up window.

"You ran for state legislature so you can speed legally.

"You pass on the right because that's the fast lane.

"You have read a book while driving from Albuquerque to Las Vegas.

"You have used aluminum foil and duct tape to repair your air conditioner.

"You can't control your car on wet pavement.

"There is a piece of a UFO displayed in your home.

"You know that The Jesus Tortilla is not a band.

"You wish you had invested in the orange traffic-barrel business.

"You just got your fifth DWI and got elected to the state legislature in the same week.

"Your swamp cooler got knocked off your roof by a dust devil.

"You have been on TV more than three times telling about how your neighbor was shot or about your alien abduction.

"You can actually hear the Taos hum."

Send us your own contributions to "You know you live in New Mexico when. . ." and you might just win a Desert Exposure mug –you'll be the envy of your friends! Send to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email


On the Road with Desert Exposure. . . Responding to our call to send us photos of yourself on vacation with a copy of your favorite publication (that would be Desert Exposure, for the slower folks out there), Mari King sends along this charming photo from Hilton Head, SC. Pictured are Patrick Conlin, Pat Clayton Leff, Mari King and Laurie Larson.

Going places? Pack a copy of Desert Exposure and your camera, snap a photo and send it to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, or email to



Losing the battle of the sexes. . . This dispatch from the front lines of the gender wars was passed along by Ned Ludd, whom we're quite sure would never be as foolish as the fella in this yarn:

"A couple had been debating the purchase of a new vehicle for weeks. He wanted a new truck. She wanted a fast little sports-like car so she could zip through traffic around town. He would probably have settled on any beat-up old truck, but everything she seemed to like was way out of their price range.

"'Look!' she said. 'I want something that goes from zero to 200 in four seconds or less. And my birthday is coming up. You could surprise me.'

"So, for her birthday, he bought her a brand-new bathroom scale.

"(Services will be at Downing Funeral Home on Monday the 20th. Due to the condition of the body, this will be a closed-casket service. Please send your donations to the 'Think Before You Say Things To Your Wife Foundation.')"


Our men and women in uniform. . . According to correspondent EK, the following is a "letter from a Nebraska farm kid, now at San Diego Marine Corps recruit training." We can't vouch for its authenticity, just its enjoyable take on basic training;

"Dear Ma and Pa,

"I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled.

"I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. but I am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad; there's warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you until noon, when you get fed again.

"It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on 'route marches,' which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A 'route march' is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country is nice but awful flat.

"The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.

"This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting back at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

"Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful, though–they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ol' bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds and he's 6-foot-8 and near 300 pounds dry.

"Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

"Your loving daughter, Alice"


The joke's on us. . . As you'll see, you'll need to ignore the gender of sender Major Grandpa as you read this. Even though he's a man, he was kind enough to pass this along:

"One day, when a seamstress was sewing while sitting close to a river, her thimble fell into the river. When she cried out, the Lord appeared and asked, 'My dear child, why are you crying?'

"The seamstress replied that her thimble had fallen into the water and that she needed it to help her husband in making a living for their family.

"The Lord dipped His hand into the water and pulled up a golden thimble set with pearls. 'Is this your thimble?' the Lord asked. The seamstress replied, 'No.'

"The Lord again dipped into the river. He held out a silver thimble ringed with sapphires. 'Is this your thimble?' the Lord asked. Again, the seamstress replied, 'No.'

"The Lord reached down again and came up with a simple leather thimble. 'Is this your thimble?' the Lord asked. The seamstress replied, 'Yes.'

"The Lord was pleased with the woman's honesty and gave her all three thimbles to keep, and the seamstress went home happy.

"Some years later, the seamstress was walking with her husband along the riverbank, and her husband fell into the river and disappeared under the water. When the seamstress cried out, the Lord again appeared and asked her, 'Why are you crying?'

"'Oh Lord, my husband has fallen into the river!'

"The Lord went down into the water and came up with George Clooney. 'Is this your husband?' the Lord asked.

"'Yes!' cried the seamstress.

"The Lord was furious. 'You lied! That is an untruth!'

"The seamstress replied, 'Oh, forgive me, my Lord. It is a misunderstanding. You see, if I had said 'no' to George Clooney, you would have come up with Brad Pitt. Then if I said 'no' to him, you would have come up with my husband. Had I then said 'yes,' you would have given me all three. Lord, I'm not in the best of health and would not be able to take care of all three husbands, so THAT'S why I said 'yes' to George Clooney.

"And so the Lord let her keep him.

"The moral of this story is: Whenever a woman lies, it's for a good and honorable reason, and is always in the best interest of others.

"That's our story, and we're sticking to it.–All Us Women"


Share your favorite funnies at Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email


Our pets, ourselves. . . Who better than Toni in the Vet's Office to share with us "Ten Peeves that Dogs Have About Humans":

"1. Blaming me when you pass gas–not funny, not funny at all!

"2. Yelling at me for barking. I'M A FRIGGIN' DOG, YOU IDIOT!

"3. Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this, anyway?

"4. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose–stop it!

"5. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you're not home.

"6. The sleight-of-hand, fake-fetch throw. You fooled a dog! Whoooo-hoooooooo, what a proud moment for the top of the food chain.

"7. Taking me to the vet for 'the big snip,' then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back.

"8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing yet.

"9.Dog sweaters. Hello! Haven't you noticed the fur?

"10. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth–you're just jealous.

"Now lay off me on some of these things. We both know who's boss here! You don't see me picking up your poop, do you?"


Complaint department. . . New correspondent Scoggin shares these supposedly true (but we don't care either way) complaints, found on

"I wish to complain that my father hurt his ankle very badly when he put his foot in the hole in his back passage.

"It's the dog's mess that I find hard to swallow.

"I wish to report that tiles are missing from the outside toilet roof. I think it was bad wind the other night that blew them off.

"The lavatory seat is cracked, where do I stand?

"I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is coming away from the wall.

"Will you please send someone to mend the garden path. My wife tripped and fell on it yesterday and now she is pregnant.

"I request permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.

"50% of the walls are damp, 50% have crumbling plaster and 50% are plain filthy.

"I am still having problems with smoke in my new drawers.

"The toilet is blocked and we cannot bathe the children until it is cleared.

"Our lavatory seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces.

"Our kitchen floor is damp. We have two children and would like a third so please send someone round to do something about it.

"I am a single woman living in a downstairs flat and would you please do something about the noise made by the man on top of me every night."

"Please send a man with the right tool to finish the job and satisfy my wife.

"I have had the clerk of works down on the floor six times but I still have no satisfaction."


Hysterical history. . . Here's another one–courtesy of Jess Hossinaround–that you'll want to take with a large grain of salt and that the easily offended might want to skip. For the rest of you, prepare to chuckle at the following history lesson:

"A lot of people ask where the saying, 'You gotta be kiddin' me!' came from. Here's the story behind it.

"Way back, George Washington was crossing the Delaware River with his troops. They were packed into the boats.

"It was extremely dark and storming furiously. The water was tossing them back and forth. Finally Washington grabbed Corporal Alexander Peters and stationed him at the front of the boat with a lantern. Washington ordered him to keep swinging it so they could see where they were heading. Corporal Peters stood up, braving the wind and driving rain, swinging the lantern back and forth. Awhile later a big gust of wind hit and threw Corporal Peters and his lantern into the Delaware.

"Washington and his troops searched for hours trying to find Corporal Peters but to no avail. All of them felt terrible, for the corporal had been one their favorites.

"An hour later, Washington and his troops landed on the other side, wet and totally exhausted. He rallied the troops and told them they must go on. After awhile, Washington and his men could go no farther.

"One of his men said, 'General, I see lights ahead.' They trudged towards the lights and came upon a huge house there in the woods. What they didn't know was this was a house of ill repute hidden in the forest.

"General Washington pounded on the door, his men crowding around him. The door swung open and the madam looked out to see Washington and all his men. A huge smile came across her face to see so many potential customers standing there.

"Washington spoke up, 'Ma'am, I'm General George Washington and these are my men. We're tired and exhausted and desperately need warmth and comfort for awhile.'

"Again the madam looked at all the men standing there and with a broad smile on her face said, 'Well, General, you have come to the right place. We can surely give you warmth and comfort. How many men do you have?'

"Washington said, 'Well ma'am, there are 32 of us without Peters.'

"Crestfallen, she looked at him and said, 'You gotta be kiddin' me!'"


Share your twisted takes on history, favorite jokes, anecdotes and pithy observations on life with Desert Dairy at PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, email Remember, the best submission each month gets rewarded with a Desert Exposure coffee mug, soon to be a priceless collectible!


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